Alarm Over Anti-Muslim Comments at Southern Baptist Convention Meeting

June 11, 2002

Source: Council on American-Islamic Relations

On June 11, 2002, the Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a press release calling "on President Bush, other elected officials and leaders of national Christian and Jewish organizations to help defend America's image and interests in the Muslim world by repudiating 'hate-filled' Islamophobic remarks made at the annual gathering of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in St. Louis, Mo." The press release continued, "'This type of deeply offensive, bigoted and inaccurate rhetoric hands a victory to those who wish to drive a wedge between Muslims, Christians and Jews,' said CAIR Board Chairman Omar Ahmad. 'Reckless Islamophobic statements from individuals regarded as leaders in their faith community will harm America's image and interests worldwide and will serve to divide Americans at this time of national crisis,' said Ahmad. ... He added that anti-Islamic rhetoric by respected religious leaders could lead to more hate-crimes against ordinary American Muslims."